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Online Teaching Community

Join a Developing Professional Learning Community

“The community is what gave me the drive to complete the program rather than giving up. The community gave me the incentive to work hard, dig deep and create the best possible product.”

- Quote from a member of a recent professional learning community

In the rapidly evolving worlds of higher education and online learning, it can be overwhelming to keep pace with the challenges of emerging technologies and the development of high-quality online courses. Many education professionals face these challenges alone and struggle as a result. One powerful strategy to meet and overcome these challenges is participation in a learning community. There are various types of learning communities (i.e., communities of practice, professional learning communities, communities of inquiry), but these various types have common critical features such as:

  • They consist of group of individuals that come together based upon a shared interest in some type of knowledge acquisition;
  • The group includes individuals of varying backgrounds, experiences and degrees of expertise;
  • The community provides a safe haven for exploration and experimentation and the generation of new knowledge and techniques;
  • Everyone in the group both shares and receives knowledge;
  • The members of the community collaboratively determine the specific agenda of the community.

Though time is precious and limited, many learning community members find the time spent joining a learning community well worth the time expended.

The Online Program Development and Support (OPDS) Office consists of staff knowledgeable and experienced in e-Learning, faculty development, research and communities of practice. OPDS is developing a professional learning community that will collaboratively pursue the development of high quality online course offerings using the Quality Matters Program as the framework.

If you are an NIU community member who is somehow responsible for online learning and would like to join a supportive and collaborative professional learning community focused on developing high-quality online courses, please feel free to join us. Contact John Cowan for more information.